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Customers in Beaumont, Texas still get metered price gouging

Time Warner Cable has been under harsh criticism from consumers and politicians alike to stop their proposed tired internet pricing trials. The trials were to be started in Rochester, N.Y., Greensboro, N.C., Austin, Texas, and San Antonio, Texas. The trials would have seen users currently paying about $40 for unlimited bandwidth forced to pay $150 per month for the same service.

Time Warner has now announced that it is not going to be adding the new areas to its metered pricing trial. However, customers in Beaumont, Texas who are already paying for metered access will continue to do so.

Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt said in a statement, "It is clear from the public response over the last two weeks that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption-based billing."

Much of the consumer protest surrounding the metered trials was in the Rochester, N.Y. area reports the AP. In that area, U.S. Rep. Eric Massa had said he was preparing legislation that would ban metered billing of internet access.

Timothy Karr from Free Press said, "We're glad to see Time Warner Cable's price-gouging scheme collapse in the face of consumer opposition. Let this be a lesson to other Internet service providers looking to head down a similar path."

Under the Time Warner metered plan, consumers would have paid at least an extra $1 per gigabyte over the miniscule monthly allotments provided. Streaming video would have been the hardest hit internet service under the tiered pricing plan. One gigabyte of data equals about three hours of streaming video.

Karr added, "Consumers are not going to stand idly by as companies try to squeeze their use of the internet."

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Got caught red handed
By ElementZero on 4/17/2009 10:27:15 AM , Rating: 5
"It is clear from the public response over the last two weeks that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about our plans to roll out additional tests on consumption-based billing."

No, it's not that there was any misunderstanding. We all knew you were trying to screw us over, not 'help us out'. Oh wait...maybe your definition of 'misunderstanding' is "the ability to see the truth"

I'm glad that for once the government actually looked like it was going to do the right thing about this.

RE: Got caught red handed
By Bateluer on 4/17/2009 10:33:10 AM , Rating: 5
They'll try it again, there's no doubt about it. Hopefully, the people will stand up and slap them down again. The day I get a letter from my ISP informing me that I've been switched to a metered billing is when I'll cancel the service immediately.

RE: Got caught red handed
By oab on 4/17/2009 10:36:29 AM , Rating: 4
As of right now you might get the letter saying you are being cancelled for a TOS violation (ie: excessive bandwidth use).

//just sayin'

RE: Got caught red handed
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2009 12:14:39 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure they will and I would also bet Time Warner defines a Gigabyte as 1000 megabytes instead of 1024 megabytes.

RE: Got caught red handed
By F3R4L on 4/17/2009 1:24:40 PM , Rating: 1
Um... industry standard is that 1024 is used for data storage and 1000 is used for data transmission. Don't ask why, that's just how it is. I think it has to do with simplicity when it comes do doing powers of ten...

RE: Got caught red handed
By Hoeser on 4/17/2009 1:34:24 PM , Rating: 3
I think you've got that backwards, mate. 1000 for storage (disk), 1024 for like... everything else.

RE: Got caught red handed
By mindless1 on 4/17/2009 11:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
Industry standard is that there is the on-paper theoretical max, expressed in binary (1024), then there are beancounters that don't want to go above that to account for real-world losses so they pick the smaller number.

In other words, in mathematics giga is 1000, but in a different discipline, computer science, it is 1024 because it exists in a binary system instead of a decimal system. Many people continue to argue it because they don't understand it can mean different things in different systems.

Similarly, a large duck is not as big as a large elephant, nor is a gigaduck as big as a gigaelephant.

RE: Got caught red handed
By theslug on 4/17/2009 1:51:50 PM , Rating: 4
A gigabyte is offically 1000 megabytes. It's a gibibyte (or binary gigabyte) that's 1024 mebibytes.

RE: Got caught red handed
By The0ne on 4/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Got caught red handed
By croc on 4/17/2009 8:46:49 PM , Rating: 3
Officially? According to Wikipedia?

A gigabyte is officially 1 billion bytes. A byte could be 8, 9 or 10 data bits.

RE: Got caught red handed
By theslug on 5/22/2009 10:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
No, not according to Wikipedia. According to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

RE: Got caught red handed
By trabpukcip on 4/19/2009 2:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
Fact is the bi prefixes have come far too late in the game.

If they were around since at least the early 80's then it would not be such a problem now.

RE: Got caught red handed
By AntiM on 4/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Got caught red handed
By Bateluer on 4/17/2009 11:36:35 AM , Rating: 3
People were more angry at Comcast's plan because of how they went about it. They weren't exactly forthcoming with their plans.

Had Comcast openly stated that they would begin instituting and enforcing a 250GB/month cap, there wouldn't have been a public lynching and an FCC smackdown.

RE: Got caught red handed
By wempa on 4/17/2009 12:43:44 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed. I have Comcast and I don't come anywhere near the 250GB cap. The unlimited plan just became the 250GB plan. That obviously wasn't an attempt to gouge customers. It was a deterrent to the top 1% of the people doing the downloading. If I had TWC, I'd be fuming at their ridiculously low caps. Unlimited would have become 40GB, which is low for somebody who even does moderate downloading or video streaming.

RE: Got caught red handed
By mindless1 on 4/17/2009 11:48:18 PM , Rating: 5
People are angry because they are not doing what is fair. They have the capacity to offer people 250GB per month so if someone only uses half that, their bill should be $1 less for each 10GB under that figure, down to a minimum of what is needed to service the account, perhaps $15 a month minimum.

In short, their claim does not jive with the facts. Paying per bandwidth necessarily means those who use less should pay less than they do currently, which is the majority of their customers.

RE: Got caught red handed
By fhaddad922 on 4/17/2009 2:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
Agree! Charging for bandwidth usage is the worst idea ever!!

RE: Got caught red handed
By The0ne on 4/17/2009 3:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to use the same quote for what I am about to say :)

Unlimited does not equal "consumption-based billing." If anything, consumption-based billing = milking the consumer of every penny.

RE: Got caught red handed
By FITCamaro on 4/18/2009 10:49:57 AM , Rating: 2
In complete agreement.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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